Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Salem -- whistling past the earthquake warnings

Fellow Salem blog HinesSight points to the important New Yorker story on The Big One that's coming on a date to be determined (after the fact), a date which will truly Live in Infamy long after the original date that earned that title is forgotten.

Perhaps lyrical New Yorker prose can wake up and convince the so-called leaders of Salem to actually lead an appropriate effort -- that is, an emergency effort -- to make Salem earthquake resilient, which would start with getting all the public safety folks and their offices out of City Hall NOW, and distributing them into several of the many suitable, newer (designed for earthquakes) empty buildings sitting unused. 

That's probably job 1 -- increase the survival rate of public safety folks.  If the Big quake hits on a weekday morning now, as things are, few city employees will survive to blame for letting volunteer politicians mislead and misdirect our priorities so badly. 

If I were the Chief of Police, I would tell the Mayor and City Manager that they have 30 days to negotiate leases and move all the police offices into facilities spread across town, but whether they've done it or not, on Day 31, the Salem police will not be in working in the tombs-to-be on the bottom of three stories of flattened concrete. Let them Mayor and Manager try to fire the Chief who has the courage and foresight to actually do the job required of a leader.

There are lots of other quake preparedness jobs the city should be leading -- helping residents identify and fix what is fixable in their homes (and to finance such improvements), instead of squandering our wealth on ever more foolish giveaways to try and restart the sprawl era. 

There's plenty of economic development work right here -- making what we have survivable and investing in people and in procedures and preparedness for what we know is coming.

People of Pacific Northwest: be scared, very scared. The Big One is coming.
// HinesSight

If you live in Oregon, Washington, northern California, or British Columbia, you MUST do this -- read a scarily truthful story in The New Yorker, "The Really Big One: an earthquake will destroy a sizable portion of the coastal Northwest; the question is when.

The Big One

"Let's live on the planet as if we intend to stay."

How Salem can get its streetcars back -- Wireless Streetcar Arrives in Rio [feedly]


Wireless Streetcar Arrives in Rio
// Next City Daily

The first of 32 Alstom Citadis wireless streetcars arrived in Rio de Janeiro last week. (Credit: Alstom)

Rio Gets Its First Wireless Tram

Railway Gazette International reports that the first of 32 Alstom Citadis wireless streetcars arrived in Rio de Janeiro last week to test the power supply system on a new catenary-free tram line that is set to begin service in time for the 2016 Olympic Games.

The 28-km, 37-stop line is being built by VLT Carioca, a consortium of Brazilian and French rail transport and technology firms. VLT Carioca in turn awarded Alstom a €230 million ($254.5 million U.S.) turnkey contract to construct the line using its APS wire-free power supply system. The system transmits electricity to the trams by energizing a third rail embedded in the pavement when cars pass over it; the rail is de-energized at other times. The trams also have supercapacitors to store energy generated during braking.

The test tram took 20 days to get to Rio from Alstom's plant in La Rochelle, France. Four more trams will be built in La Rochelle, and the other 27 trams that will provide service on the line are being built in a new factory Alstom built in Taubaté in São Paulo state.
The line's 14-km-long initial section will open in mid-2016, in time for the Olympics.

"Let's live on the planet as if we intend to stay."